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Fact Check-The World Economic Forum did not tweet in support of lowering the age of consent to 13

The World Economic Forum (WEF) did not tweet on laws relating to the age of consent, nor say the threshold should be lowered to 13, a WEF spokesperson has told Reuters.

A screenshot of the alleged tweet from the verified WEF profile has been shared on multiple social media platforms here, here, here, here, here and here. Dated March 17, it reads: “Should the age of consent be lowered to 13 or less? How age of consent laws may be infringing on human rights.” The tweet also tags the United Nations children’s agency, UNICEF, and links to a shortened URL that appears to be invalid (wef.ch/tty56dX).

Reuters was unable to find any record of this tweet existing on WEF’s account, or any article on the official website. There are also no signs of other Twitter users posting replies to such a tweet on or after March 17.

“This is fake,” a WEF spokesperson told Reuters when shown the screenshot. “The World Economic Forum has never published this.” The spokesperson added the WEF had seen several “fake social posts of this kind” in recent weeks.

Early iterations of the image can be traced back to mid-June and appear to have originated on a Twitter account that regularly posts memes and fabricated screenshots for satirical means.

On June 14, the user posted the screenshot about the age of consent amid a thread of similar screenshots containing fabricated WEF tweets (here). In replies to the thread, the user said they were all parody screenshots, acknowledging that some people had been “oblivious” to the joke (here).

Further examples of the user’s faked screenshots relating to other accounts can be seen here and here .

VERDICT Satire. The World Economic Forum did not tweet on laws relating to age of consent. A screenshot showing a fake tweet was originally posted for satirical purposes.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here.

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